Store Design Digest

June 3, 2020

Ian Cook, Managing Editor

It is a fast-changing time for those working in design & construction for stores, restaurants, and hotels (and for all those companies who work for them!). “Expert” recommendations seem to change daily. Consumer attitudes continue to evolve (look at the difference between what was on the consumer’s mind when they walked into a restaurant in January versus what it would take to get them to walk in now!).

That said, this also means there are enormous opportunities for companies, based on how they respond to the situation, how they position themselves, and probably how lucky they are!

Enjoy this week’s Store Design Digest. There are a bunch of great articles. As you will see, the Digest is focused more than on store design exclusively. We also focus on construction projects (multi-site), rebranding, refreshes, facility management issues, and project management.

Carve out some time every Wednesday to grab a cup of coffee amd work through the Store Design Digest. We think you’ll find it worth your time!

Issue #6

Popeyes Refreshes Brand Identity, Pilots Store Redesign

Popeyes has also revamped the interior and exterior designs of its restaurants and is piloting the new look at a location in Marrero, Louisiana. The fast food company is also expanding internationally and just opened a store in the new design in Shanghai.

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Dollar General has Blowout Quarter; 2020 Store Expansion/Remodels Remain on Track

While many retailers have scaled back 2020 store openings and remodeling plans, Dollar General remains committed to its previously announced projects. It is still planning 1,000 new stores, 1,500 mature store remodels and 80 store relocations in fiscal 2020.

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Dollar General Remodels to Expand Fresh Produce Offerings

The discount retailer announced that two recently remodeled stores in Baton Rouge, the state capital, now have fresh vegetables and fruit for sale.

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Monro Temporarily Halts Acquisition Efforts, Rebranding

In an effort to keep cash on hand, Monro Inc. is temporarily halting its acquisition efforts as well as its national rebranding work to turn more of its automotive service stores into tire stores.

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Wegmans 2020 Store Openings on Track — but with Under-the-Radar Strategy

Wegmans Food Markets is continuing to open new stores — but it’s taking a more cautious approach.

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Five Below Reopens Stores; Resumes Expansion Program

The extreme-value tween and teen retailer, which has opened 40 new stores so far this year, continues to expect to open 100 to 120 new stores in 2020.

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CVS Health Meets Commitment of 1,000 Test Sites

The company will have met it goal as of May 29, having opened a total of 1,000 sites across more than 30 states and Washington, D.C. Testing id scheduled online and take place at select CVS Pharmacy locations in parking lots or at drive-thru windows.

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TravelCenters of America adding More Locations

With the three openings in June, TA will expand its network of total travel centers to 269. More openings are planned for 2020, in cities including Huntington, Oregon; Cookeville, Tennessee; Edgerton, Kansas and South Houston, Texas.

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City Furniture Expanding

Florida-based City Furniture is continuing with its growth plan.

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Ulta Beauty Slashes Store Expansion Amid Dismal Q1

The beauty giant also said it is cutting its fiscal 2020 new store openings to 30 to 40 stores (down from 75) and will undertake about three relocation projects.

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J.C. Penney Store Closing Sales to Start in June

J.C. Penney is expected to close 242 stores during the summer as part of its Chapter 11 restructuring process. Penney has not yet revealed the locations of the stores that will go dark.

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Aramark Opens Pop-Up Grocery Stores in Healthcare Facilities

Foodservice company Aramark is converting existing retail space at healthcare facilities into “pop-up” grocery stores to serve frontline healthcare workers.

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Midtown Atlanta Whole Foods Eyes Renovation to Reduce Seating, Bolster Grocery Pick-up

The renovation could be a way to adapt to the new pandemic normal.

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Reitmans Canada is Terminating its Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle Brands, Closing Stores

The 54 Thyme Maternity stores and 77 Addition Elle locations will close this summer.

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Report: Amazon Opening New Grocery Store in Chicago Suburb

Amazon is reportedly making good on plans to expand its new brick-and-mortar grocery concept beyond Southern California.

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Checkers & Rally's Taps SiteZeus for Nationwide Expansion

SiteZeus announced its newest partnership with Checkers & Rally's, an iconic and innovative drive-thru restaurant chain.

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O2 Uses Tech to Open ‘Future Stores’ – with Queue-Jumping Priority for NHS and Care Workers

O2 will use virtual queuing technology and new store design to safely open its shops to customers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Aldi: New Automated Traffic Light System at UK Entrances

Aldi is implementing a new automated traffic light system at entrances, to control the number of customers going in and out of stores.

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In Italy: Conad Adds More Stores To Its New Banner, Spazio Conad

Conad has added more stores to its Spazio Conad banner as part of the relaunch of the former Auchan Retail Italia store network in Italy.

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Boscov’s Construction Takes Back Seat

When the economy starts moving again, expansion, remodel and new store construction aren’t at the top of Boscov’s list of priorities.

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Drive Thru’s Driving Innovation

Invest in the drive thru. It is going to play a larger role moving forward and is a great opportunity to drive revenue, improve the quality of life for employees and customers, and to build loyal customers.

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What Covid-19 Social Distancing Measures Will Mean For Restaurant Dining Room Design

As restaurants tiptoe towards reopening, it’s clear that it will be a very different dining experience in the aftermath of the pandemic.

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What Does a Post-COVID Restaurant Look Like? Dining Experience Might Lose Appeal

Restaurants are trying to find creative ways to keep their customers safe -- and physically distant -- as they reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Why the Future of Restaurants is a Design Problem

After COVID-10 stay-at-home orders end, dining out safely depends on architecture.

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Restaurants Seek Elbow Room in the Pandemic’s Distanced Dining

From picnic tables in parking lots to dining on strips of shopping center landscaping, restaurants returning after pandemic shutdowns are looking for room to spread out for social distancing. And no one knows how long that will last.

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In a Touchless World, 3D Cameras Will Make Restaurants Safer

Vital to a safe return is reducing the number of items and surfaces customers have to touch.

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How Robots are Reinventing Food Service

Will robots take over kitchens in the future? Not likely. But one company is claiming to make food service easier, faster, and safer.

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Five Restroom Upgrades to Minimize Germs

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on how consumers respond to potential germ exposure, raising new questions around the hygienic and safe usage of public restrooms.

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The Incredible Shrinking Department Store.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made certain that the century-old retail model will never be the same. Which ones survive, and what will they look like?

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Brick and Mortar's Next Chapter

The pandemic is forcing retailers to finally define just what their stores are for.

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Covid-19 Retail Queues Inspired By Theme Parks? Long Lines Prompt New Thinking

Reimagine the Covid-19 retail queue by bringing theme park approaches to improve guest experience.

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The Future of Data Driven Store Design: Retail Refined

In this podcast, Melissa Gonzalez discusses the evolution of store design through data collection and statistical analytics with George Shaw, founder of Pathr.

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What will Bring Consumers Back to Brick-and-Mortar Stores?

Post-pandemic, the retailers that reopen without making major changes to how they do business could lose out, writes Consumers in Motion's Daniel Hodges.

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How will Retail Store Designs Change Post-Covid?

Stores are designed isn’t just changing in the short-term. Coronavirus is likely to be the catalyst for future retail design concepts in many different ways.

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Physical Distancing: Retail's New Normal

In a post Covid-19 world, physical distancing is going to become the new normal in retail but can design help mitigate its impact and become part of the experience?

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Will Covid-19 Reshape the Retail Landscape Forever?

As more consumers realize that they can continue getting what they need without going into a store, it begs one big question: will Covid-19 transform customer shopping habits forever?

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Pipeline for New Hotels Throttles Ahead Remarkably to Record Highs — For Now Development

The U.S. hotel supply continues to grow at a record pace, even with the industry facing its worst downturn in recorded history. But the building boom’s days are numbered.

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Hotel Operations, Design Adjust to Social Distancing

Hoteliers and designers share how properties are adjusting to meet social-distancing guidelines, and offer their insights on what hotel design might look like in a post-COVID-19 era.

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